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"Is she a well-intentioned spiritual leader, with actual psychic powers? Is she a fraud, making money by callously manipulating and using the bereaved? Or is she something else entirely?"
Sylvia Browne on her official web site
Notice about Robert S. Lancaster
The webmaster of this site, Robert Lancaster, has been very ill since August 2008. He is on the road to recovery and should be back posting articles soon. Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers.
Susan Lancaster (wife)
Notice FROM Robert S. Lancaster
I'm STILL on the road to recovery, and hope to have new articles up in the coming weeks! Thanks to all for their concern and well-wishes.
Robert S. Lancaster (webmaster) March 20, 2010
It's a name which causes strong reactions in a lot of people.
To her fans, who believe that she is a "true psychic medium," she is a down-to-earth, spiritually deep woman who, with the help of her "spirit guide" Francine, can see the future, diagnose illnesses, find lost children, and communicate with the dead.
To skeptics, who believe that she has not proven any of her purported abilities, she is almost certainly a fraud, using stage tricks such as "cold reading" to simulate psychic abilities, preying on the grieving, the ill, and the spiritually needy.
Who is right?
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One Skeptic's Opinion
My name is Robert S. Lancaster, and I am the creator and webmaster of this web site.
I am a skeptic. That means that I require evidence of something before believing it. And, with controversial topics such as psychic phenomena, I would require very compelling evidence indeed.
So, given that:
1. Sylvia Browne steadfastly avoids any scientific testing of her purported powers.
2. Her performances on television seem to be indistinguishable from "cold reading" (a method used by stage magicians and phony psychics to simulate "real" psychic powers).
3. Her track record of "psychic predictions" (as put forth on her web site and on television and radio appearances) appears to be no better than that obtained by educated guesses.
Given all that, I firmly believe that Sylvia Browne has not shown that she has "real psychic powers", and that she should either prove them, or stop pretending she has them.
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Filling a Void
Over the years, Sylvia Browne has been the focus of a number of skeptical pages on the web, but I don't think that there has ever before been one site which focused solely on her. The goal of this site is to fill that void by providing a central place where she, her track record and all of her claims are examined and analyzed.
Although I will be approaching the subject from a skeptical viewpoint (the name of the site should show that), I will try to do so in as fair and factual a manner as possible.
Where I state a fact, I will try to back it up with references. Where I state an opinion, I will try to clearly label it as such.
Is she a well-intentioned spiritual leader, with actual psychic powers? Is she a fraud, making money by callously manipulating and using the bereaved? Or is she something else entirely?
This site will attempt to answer these questions.
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If you are already skeptical of Sylvia Browne, you will find much here to confirm that skepticism.
If you are "on the fence" about Sylvia Browne and her claims, perhaps this site will help you to make up your mind.
And even if you are a dyed-in-the-wool Sylvia Browne believer, I think you might find some things here which will give you pause.
Regardless of your current opinion of Sylvia Browne, I invite you to explore this site, particularly the Articles section, which contains the bulk of the site's material, and which will continue to grow as I do more research.
Please read it, and consider it.
I couldn't ask for more than that.
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